Black Gold – Film About The Global Coffee Trade

November 6, 2007 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

Ever heard of the film Black Gold? If you haven’t, chances are that you’ll think of oil. But Black Gold is a much acclaimed film, not about oil – it´s about coffee. If you have a chance, you should go and see it.

The reasons? For starters, you’ll get an input for a perspective on globalization. The film shows that the coffee industry employs millions of people around the world. It documents the lives of those involved in coffee growth, processing and trade.

Ever wondered if the rise of the trendy coffee places in your town has any impact on the coffee farmers the the farthest corners of the world? This film will give you a well researched answer to the question if the increasing popularity of the Caffe Latte is actually making an ounce of difference to your average Joe in the world of coffee bean growers.

The coffee trade might be vital to the politics, survival and economies of many developing nations, but the things that really matter, the industry’s pricing and futures, are decided in conference rooms and on stock exchange floors in some of the world’s wealthiest cities.

Coffee might easily become the cornerstone of your opionions in the globalization debate. The numbers only are compelling.

Multinational coffee companies now rule US shopping malls, supermarkets. The coffee industry´s worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world next to oil.

But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.

Boring? Not when you´re a coffee grower! What´s more, the paradox indicates some of the more important unsolvable issues between East and West.

In the film – a documentary- Tadesse Meskela, an Ethiopian man, who is struggling to keep his 74,000 coffee farmers from bankruptcy, is travelling the world over, as his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market. Tadesse travels wide distances to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.

The film highlights the the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world’s coffee trade.

New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers.

For screenings, check out its website.

If you’re living near Bradford in the UK, consider going to see it because Saturday 17 November, as part of the Islam Awareness week 2007, the film’s makers, Mark and Nick Francis, as well as some well known academics, are attending the screening organised by Women Working Towards Excellence and the Islamic Society of Britain. Tickets are Tickets: £2.00

These are some of the reviews;

EXCELLENT – angry, good-humoured and essential.” OBSERVER
(Philip French)
“Hauntingly human by exploring the plight of Ethiopian coffee farmers whose appalling poverty is laid at the door of a few multinationals and us uninformed consumers” THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
(Angie Errigo)
“Black Gold is galvanising audiences wherever it plays” OBSERVER
(David Smith)
“everyone should see it” DAILY MIRROR
“STIMULATING – Black Gold has roused sufficient outrage to frighten some of the biggest coffee corporations into justifying their buying practices” SUNDAY HERALD
(Adam Forrest)
“Riveting and jaw-dropping..” LA TIMES
(Carina Chocano)
“Remarkable – A moving but scandalous story. Black Gold has extraordinary power” DAILY TELEGRAPH
(David Gritten)
“Visually ravishing… The Francises are aces behind the camera” VARIETY
(Robert Koehler)
“provocative and well made” SIGHT AND SOUND
(Geoffrey Macnab)

For more information, check out this site

Entry filed under: Green News.

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